As Sacha Guitry used to say: "When you listen to Mozart, the silence that follows is still Mozart." It is not a sacrilege to use this quote. Comics have become a graphic art in its own rights. After reading a beautiful comic book, the moment that follows is still filled with it.
Today marks the opening of the 41st edition of the Angoulême International Comics Festival, an event that has been cult for a long time. This is the news of the day, with its flakes and celebrities. What most interests us are the young cartoonists thrown in this universe, and who will become the Bilals, Tardis, Uderzos and Joann Sfars of tomorrow. They will be rewarded by the School Comics prize, sponsored by the Caisses d'Epargne banks.
The web isn't an art, it is a full component of today's world. HuffPost France isn't 41 but only two years old. We thought it was timely to mix and celebrate both birthdays together. Here is our present: HuffPost France in comics! Young and established talents from yesterday will come illustrate a news website today.
It has been two years indeed, to the day. We don't want to sound like veterans, but a few memories must be reminded. Two years already. The connected world goes fast!
It was reckless to start this adventure, to launch a news website with an unpronounceable name in French and an American reference, with the ambition to become France's first news website with only eight young people. Today, we are a team of 17 professionals. We were right not to overthink it.
Luckily, Arianna Huffington, our founder, believed in it; AOL, our majority stockholder, was determined; Louis Dreyfus and Matthieu Pigasse, director of Le Monde and representing the two other shareholders, had the drive to do it; Paul Ackerman, our editor-in-chief, had the strength to do it; our small team, the energy. And I wanted to make talented people work together!
Luckily, outside personalities accepted to help us by bringing their expertise and credibility.
Luckily, readers online sticked to the project, shared our articles on Facebook and tweeted them constantly. We now have 3.5 millions unique visitors, according to the data from last month evaluated by Médiamétrie (November 2013).
We've had a lot of great circumstances, as in any successful bet.
What you liked and what we hope you will keep enjoying is a multiple formula. We produce leading and viral information very fast, while analyzing it thanks to our experienced journalists and explaining it thanks to our skilled experts. We publish original and contradictory opinions, always of high quality about the news and the way we live. We know how to share our content on social media, how to emphasize the best or most significant articles. We offer entertainment, unusual content, discoveries, video, controversies. We want to show that we don't take ourselves too seriously, while supporting progressive social and moral ideas, and combating extreme positions that we loathe.
We keep nothing quiet, but we are responsible. We can moderate discussions online before they drift to insult and offensive talks. We need to be credible in an information age that need to prove its credibility every single day.
And we will keep going. Starting Monday, February 3, a new section of HuffPost France will be entirely devoted to life in the workplace, where we spend half of our existence. We will talk about daily life concerns, about stress and thriving at work, about addiction and distance in the workplace, but also about dependence and perspective towards new technologies. We will cover friendships, relationships with colleagues, leadership and finding your family back home.
A few days later, we'll launch a section devoted to daily viral content, these funny and invaluable links you want to share with your relatives. It will be a fun and education section for those who love the web.
In the upcoming weeks and with the local elections approaching, we'll launch a large-scale project with two important foundations -- the Jean Jaurès Foundation and Fondapol -- and will partner with France Inter to analyze the local and national stakes of these important elections scheduled in March.
This is a birthday with a lot of new developments. Instead of celebrating among ourselves, HuffPost France let a dozen of cartoonists illustrate the day. All have received the School Comics prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
The Caisse d'Epargne bank, a historical partner of this prestigious award, has accepted to play the game with HuffPost France by selecting its most talented protégés, and by making them come from all regions of France to leave them with us for an unusual day. Thierry Tinlot, a Belgian cartoon professional and former editor-in-chief of the reference publications Spirou and Fluide Glacial, will be here all day to coordinate the work.
There won't be any photos on today's HuffPost France homepage: only beautiful, surprising and innovative illustrations. It is a real challenge for these artists who aren't press illustrators used to draw the news and its actors. These are cartoon authors, who also know how to work in an excited hurry but mostly with their creative loneliness. More and more, comics go beyond their original and fictional universe to tell stories about life, about today's global society. In this opening day of the Angoulême Festival, it seemed obvious to me and Alexandre Phalippou, deputy editor-in-chief of HuffPost France, that we should reunite virtuosos and make them work at top speed, following the news besides the young and dynamic HuffPost France team.
Here is what we want to offer you: all the news, just like every single day, but different from yesterday's and tomorrow's news. For the first time on a news website, the news will live, show, speak, protest, it will get passionate and play with the pencils of our cartoonists reunited around our 17 online writers. Angoulême International Comics Festival is at HuffPost France, invades it, shakes it up, covers it and puts it in bubbles more sparkling than champagne to celebrate a birthday. Thank you all!
Here is the list of the cartoonists illustrating the homepage of HuffPost France today, Thursday, January 30. They are recipients of the "Comics, Young Talents" and "School Comics" Angoulême prizes, and are sponsored by the Caisse d'Épargne bank.
- Jean BASTIDE
- Cécile BIDAULT
- Hugo HUYANT
- Jérémie MOREAU
- Lucrèce ANDREAE
- Timothée BART
- Lise RÉMON
- Maud GIRARD
- Adrien ROUQUIÉ
- Vincent CAUT